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14 August 2020 08:42

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SA's COVID cases rise by one after returned traveller tests positive

There are fears of a jump in COVID-19 cases in South Australia after more than 300 repatriated Australians arrived from India, via Singapore. A day before more than 150 repatriated Australians will be released from South Australian medihotels, one man in isolation has tested positive to coronavirus. He returned a positive test on day 12 of supervised isolation. SA Health's deputy chief public health officer Emily Kirkpatrick said the man would remain in hotel quarantine despite all other travellers being released on Saturday. She said the new positive case posed no risk to the community.

"The criteria for clearance varies depending on someone's symptoms, so in this case it will most likely be 10 days from when he's had his test," Dr Kirkpatrick said. South Australia has recorded its first new COVID-19 case in a week, bringing the state's total to 460. His infection was picked up on a mandatory day-12 test while in one of the state's medi hotels. Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Emily Kirkpatrick says the man poses no risk to the community. The case is the state's first since a woman in her 20s forced more than 1,100 staff and students at Thebarton Senior College into self-isolation.

Despite no new cases being identified from the Thebarton cluster, Kirkpatrick says the state isn't out of the woods yet. The new case comes after new rules were announced for South Australia's aged care facilities in a bid to keep the state's "unblemished" record when it comes to COVID-19 outbreaks in the sector. Premier Steven Marshall said the Royal Commission into Aged Care deemed South Australia's aged care response as nation leading. As of August 27, all personal care workers will not be permitted to work at more than one residential aged care facility. Aged care facilities have been linked to the majority of Victoria's COVID-19 deaths in recent months.

All doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and personal care providers will also be required to wear PPE when they come within 1.5 metres of a resident. Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier says South Australia hopes to learn from Victoria's outbreaks and prevent a similar outbreak in the state. "We are taking this time while we do not have community transmission in the state to ensure these facilities are as safe as possible for these vulnerable residents," she said. The new aged care rules come alongside tougher restrictions for the state's pubs, restaurants and venues announced on Wednesday. New SA COVID case as relaxed gathering rules, tighter borders begin South Australia has recorded another coronavirus case, with a man in his 30s who arrived on a repatriation flight from India returning a positive test.

The man has been in isolation since his arrival on August 1 and returned the positive test on Day 12 of his quarantine. SA Health said the man was "well" and posed no risk to the community. It comes as rules allowing up to 20 people at a residential premises kicked in overnight, with the state tightening regulations on travel in and out of South Australia. Tighter border restrictions requiring essential travellers to produce evidence of a COVID test within the previous seven days also begin today. The new rules apply to emergency service workers, commercial transport and freight, emote or isolated workers, cross border community members and seasonal workers in an essential sector. Rules that seek to reduce travel between SA and Victoria for border communities kick in from August 21. The new restrictions, along with rules requiring public venues to have a COVID marshal to supervise social distancing, were announced by the state government on Wednesday. If more than 200 people are expected to be present at a prescribed operation a COVID marshal who is supervising must have no other duties. Youngest virus victim as Victoria records 14 deaths, 372 new cases Another 14 Victorians have died from coronavirus while the state has recorded 372 new cases. It comes as new COVID-19 testing sites will be opened in Victoria's major regional centres and reports emerge over the identity of "patient zero" for the state's deadly second wave. The Age newspaper is reporting leaked emails identify a night duty manager at one of the quarantine hotels in Melbourne's CBD reported coming down with coronavirus on May 25, presumably contracting it from a returned traveller. The state government is now launching new testing sites at Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo after collectively recording more than 250 cases in the past 14 days. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says there is a "real cause for hope" that Victoria is flattening its rate of coronavirus infections as lockdown measures take hold. The state recorded 278 new cases on yesterday, its lowest tally since July 20, after one week of Australia's harshest restrictions. NSW recorded 12 new cases on Thursday, with the source of three not yet known. Queensland recorded two new COVID-19 cases, a returned traveller from Sydney who is in hotel quarantine and a person on a cargo ship off the coast. Hunt said Queensland and NSW were in a protection phase while Victoria was looking at reduction. "Three states, three signs of hope, three signs of positive developments," he said. There were two new cases in Western Australia, both among returned travellers in hotel quarantine. Auckland will spend a full fortnight in lockdown after New Zealand's fresh COVID-19 cluster grew to at least 30 people today. The rest of New Zealand will remain at "level two", with police-run checkpoints between Auckland and other regions to stop all non-essential travel. The first community outbreak in more than three months has thrown New Zealanders back into the clutches of the pandemic, after weeks of restriction-free living. A new record was set on Thursday when more than 15,000 Kiwis were tested for COVID-19; a dramatic ramp-up of previous efforts. New aged care restrictions will hurt staff: SACOSS Aged care restrictions that prevent staff from working in more than one South Australian facility will lead to significant losses in income for many workers, the state's peak welfare body says. Under the new restrictions announced by the state government yesterday, aged care workers will only be able to work at one site from August 27 and must wear masks when they come within 1.5 metres of residents. The South Australian Council of Social Service says although it is not exactly sure how many workers will be affected, anecdotal reports suggested that thousands of personal care workers would be impacted. SACOSS is calling on the state government to introduce paid sick leave for workers impacted by these new requirements and a further payment that would address loss of income that could arise from restricting staff to a single nursing home. So far, South Australia has not had any COVID-19 infections among aged care residents and Health Minister Stephen Wade said while challenging, the new measures would help prevent the disease impacting on some of the state's most vulnerable people. "We aren't waiting for an infection to get a foothold in one of our residential aged care facilities," he said. Wade said the government wanted to minimise the disruption to facilities and workers and hoped arrangements could be put in place to maintain services and retain jobs. The new restrictions were announced yesterday as South Australia recorded no new COVID-19 cases for the sixth consecutive day, leaving only six active cases in the state. The new aged care restrictions apply to workers in public and private residential aged care facilities and are modelled off similar regulations already in place in Victoria and Queensland. "The boundaries commission was again faced with declining population in regional districts, and with a number being outside of the allowable tolerance," Gully said. A special commission of inquiry's report into the ill-fated cruise ship at the heart of one of Australia's largest coronavirus outbreaks is set to be handed to the NSW government today. The Ruby Princess, which docked at Sydney's Circular Quay on March 19, has been linked to hundreds of cases and more than 20 coronavirus-related deaths across Australia. The ship – which was low on medical supplies and swabs for on-board COVID-19 tests due to shortages – left Sydney on March 8 for New Zealand and returned 11 days later. Despite the respiratory symptoms of numerous Ruby Princess passengers and the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 test results, 2700 passengers were permitted to disembark as the voyage had been deemed "low risk" by NSW health authorities. "They are inheriting a mess of historic proportions," Clinton, a former US secretary of state, said during an online forum hosted by news organisation The 19th. "I think Joe and Kamala together will be absolutely ready for lots of long, long days and very short nights working to get as much done as quickly as possible," Clinton said. Italy, the first European country ravaged by the virus, has extended its state of emergency through to October 15, and the government has used that authority to pass a series of decrees, ordinances and measures to protect public health. Elsewhere in Europe, France reported more than 2,500 new COVID-19 infections for the second day in a row on Thursday, levels last seen in mid-April when the country was in the middle of one of Europe's strictest lockdowns. Help our journalists uncover the facts In times like these InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. The Department of Health has reported one new case of COVID-19 in Western Australia overnight. The new confirmed case – a man in his 30s – returned to Perth from overseas and is in hotel quarantine. WA now has four active COVID-19 cases – three are Western Australians and one is from interstate.